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Re: Seedling discussion


Jim,

My first response would be: how much room do you have to grow them out?
Then add in next years and the following and also all the named
cultivars you plan on purchasing. For me, I can hang on to maybe 3
dozen. One thousand month old seedlings will fit in less than ten flats.
The same amount of 2 year seedlings could be 1/8th of an acre. So,
taking this all into effect -space is the main limiting factor on how
soon you need to make your culls.

What your looking for in a seedling is all opinion. Some have told me
that the true character of a hosta doesn't show sometimes until the
third or fourth year. Do I have the space to grow them that long? No!  I
can work with about 6 flats during the winter season. I made selections
about a month ago which had something interesting going for
them.Saturday, I made more selections as the plants grew some more. 75%
of first selections hit the compost along with a flat and a half of
green stuff.

I place a lot of value on vigor. Forcing hosta under lights is an
unnatural setting. If they don't do well under optimum conditions, will
they grow well outside? I know of some who will only grow their seeds
outside, as the weak just won't survive, which really helps with the
culling process.

To sum it all up, keep them as long as it takes to decide whether it is
a keeper or you submit to the pressure of space and are forced to make
your culls.

Ray

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